Quadruple amputee settles with hospital

  1. Keep in mind that events, assessment, etc is from perspective of plaintiff's lawyer, which can be rather prejudicial (duh). But, I'm happy she's settled one of the suits and will have some $$ coming in to help out with all her expenses. BTW, *please* don't attack the nurse/nurses who cared for this woman as you have absolutely no idea what actually occurred.

    Sanford woman settles lawsuit in flesh-eating-bacteria case

    Rene Stutzman |Sentinel Staff Writer6:51 PM EDT, May 18, 2009 SANFORD - The mother who entered a Longwood maternity ward, delivered a healthy baby boy and suddenly became so sick with flesh-eating bacteria that doctors wound up amputating both arms and legs has settled her lawsuit against the hospital.

    Claudia Mejia Edwards of Sanford, will receive an undisclosed sum from Orlando Regional Healthcare System Inc., now called Orlando Health, according to court records. So will the baby she delivered, Matthew Edwards, 4, and her older son, Jorge Mejia Valle, a fifth grader.

    The amount is a secret, said her attorney, Ron Gilbert. Hospital company Jennings L. Hurt III on Monday confirmed the settlement but declined comment.

    Mejia, 27, was admitted to Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital in Longwood on April 28, 2005, and that morning delivered a healthy boy, Matthew.

    Over the next few hours, she developed a rash, fever, chills and other symptoms, according to her suit. The next day, she was in extreme pain, but the hospital tried to discharge her, according to the suit. Her husband, Timothy B. Edwards, refused to leave.

    The day after that, doctors performed exploratory surgery and discovered gangrene in her belly.

    She was transferred to Orlando Regional Medical Center, but her condition worsened. She went into shock, lost consciousness and her kidneys began to shut down.

    Doctors eventually concluded her body was being ravaged by flesh-eating bacteria, also known as Group A Streptococcal infection. They amputated all four limbs, hoping to save her life.

    Mejia now spends most of her day in a motorized wheelchair, according to Gilbert. She sees the children off to school and day care and goes to physical therapy several times a week, he said.

    A few weeks before the settlement, Mejia's lawyer asked a judge to allow punitive damages against the health care nonprofit -- triple damages.

    He alleged in paperwork that one nurse who cared for Mejia and a midwife who delivered the baby were guilty of "wanton and reckless conduct." He would not explain Monday.

    But the nurse, when questioned under oath, had refused to answer if she knew Mejia had an infection and, when caring for her, if she knew how to recognize symptoms of flesh-eating bacterial infection.

    Rene Stutzman can be reached at rstutzman@orlandosentinel.com or 407-650-6394.


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  3. by   sunkissed75
    Wow...so, so sad
  4. by   JeanettePNP
    But the nurse, when questioned under oath, had refused to answer if she knew Mejia had an infection and, when caring for her, if she knew how to recognize symptoms of flesh-eating bacterial infection.
    What are the symptoms?
  5. by   belliot2
    Symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis may develop quickly, often as soon as 24 hours after a minor skin injury. The rapid onset of symptoms is one of the most important clues that you may need immediate medical care. Another common feature of this disease is pain that is greater than you would expect from the wound or injury.

    Necrotizing fasciitis most commonly affects extremities, particularly the legs, but can affect any part of the body. When necrotizing fasciitis occurs in the area of the genitals, it is called Fournier gangrene.

    The most common early symptoms include:

    Sudden, severe pain in the affected area.
    Fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms.
    Redness, heat, swelling, or fluid-filled blisters in the skin over the affected area. If the infection is deep in the tissue, these signs of inflammation may not develop right away.
    Later symptoms may include:

    Signs of shock (including confusion, fainting, or dizziness), which are often worse when you get up from sitting or lying down. These symptoms are caused by a drop in blood pressure.
    Scaling, peeling, or discolored skin over the affected area, which are signs of tissue death, or gangrene.
    A common entry point for the bacteria is through a wound such as a burn, cut, scrape, or insect bite. Within 24 hours after the bacteria have entered the wound, swelling, heat, redness, and tenderness spread quickly from the original wound site. Within 24 to 48 hours after spreading, the redness may darken to purple and then to blue. Blisters containing yellow fluid may also form. Within 4 to 5 days after the initial infection, gangrene develops. Within 7 to 10 days, dead skin separates from healthy skin as the infection continues to spread into other tissue. Certain strains of bacteria (such as streptococci) can be more aggressive, shortening the entire process to 2 to 4 days.
  6. by   belliot2
    This is a tragic, very difficult disease to "catch" before it is life threatening. A young man in Columbus, OH recently ( Feb 09) contracted this and within 2 days he was given less than a 10% chance of survival after having both legs amputated, and all major organ systems were shutting down. He did survive and is considered a "miracle". I can only think that the defense did a poor job of revealing how rapidly this progresses and how difficult it is to treat.